Today, Tuesday, April 4, is a very special day for skincare aficionados. It’s national vitamin C day, which means that it’s quite possibly one of the best days of the year to stock up antioxidant-packed serums, eye creams, and moisturizers galore. Don’t believe me? Just wait until I clue you in to one of the best sales going. Skincare Essentials, a retailer specializing in professional-grade products, is offering 30 percent off their vitamin C products. All you have to do is spend $99 (not a problem) and enter the code VitC30 at checkout.
The retailer offers a pretty tight, top-notch edit, so you honestly can’t go wrong. But, if you really want to know the best of the best, read ahead. We’ve rounded up the top 10 vitamin C products—all of which can be yours for 30 percent off. So get your credit card ready and prepare to have brighter, more even-toned skin.
What’s Vitamin C, Anyway?
Sure, you can get your daily dose from a cup of orange juice, but when applied topically—in a stabilized form—vitamin C has loads of skin benefits. “Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects the skin from free radical damage that occurs from exposure to UV, pollution, and other environmental stressors,” board-certified dermatologist Dr. Marisa Garshick tells Marie Claire. “It helps brighten the skin, it helps improve hyperpigmentation, it helps support and boost collagen production, and it’s especially great when paired with sunscreen to provide extra protection against UV radiation.”
Shop These Vitamin C Products
The Best Vitamin C Serum for Dark Spots
One of the most popular types of vitamin C is something called L-ascorbic acid, which is exactly what you’ll find in this formula. It has a 20 percent concentration (that’s pretty intense FYI) and will get to work instantly brightening your dark spots, fading hyperpigmentation, and firming the skin. The biggest standout feature here? The texture. Unlike some other serums that have a brown-orange color and leave a tacky, sticky finish, this lightweight serum sinks into the skin and leaves a silky sheen behind.
The Best Vitamin C Serum for Mature Skin
Obagi is an if-you-know-you-know brand that’s loved by celebrities ranging from Drew Barrymore and Alicia Keys to Maude Apatow. One of their star products? This 15 percent vitamin C serum, which is formulated with L-ascorbic acid. Similar to other products on the market, it’s going to protect against environmental aggressors (think: the sun, pollution), will give a good glow, and is designed to fade hyperpigmentation. What sets it apart however is its anti-aging powers. You can be confident that it will fade fine lines over time.
The Best Vitamin C Moisturizer
"I'm picky about my moisturizers, but this is one cream that I finished so quickly because I simply loved it. The combination of vitamin C and lactic acid left my dry, dehydrated skin looking a little more glowy in the morning. I've been noticing the onset of a few fine lines across my forehead and I noticed that my skin looked firmer after using this. Plus, I have fairly sensitive skin in the winter and this didn't cause any irritation. Just plumper, better-looking skin!" — Julia Marzovilla, E-Commerce Editor
The Best Vitamin C Serum for Acne Prone Skin
A former Marie Claire Prix d’Excellence Award Winner, I promise this product is worth your money—especially if you’re prone to breakouts. It contains the classic 15 percent L-ascorbic acid, but is bolstered by a little dose of salicylic acid and milk thistle, both of which are going to help control oil products and reduce the likelihood of clogged pores. So while your breakouts start to scale back, the vitamin C can get to work fading the lingering hyperpigmentation. In all honesty, it’s a win-win.
The Best Vitamin C Sunscreen
Vitamin C and sunscreen are BFFs. They work better together and should never, ever be separated. To cut the confusion out of the equation, scoop up a product that combines both in one, easy formula. Enter this Perricone MD masterpiece, which is formulated with a vitamin C ester and SPF 30. Unlike other forms of vitamin C, this particular derivative is going to be less intense (don’t worry, it’s still potent), which makes it ideal for sensitive skin types.
The Best Natural Vitamin C Serum
Part of what sets vitamin C serums apart from one another are the other ingredients in the formula. Take this Eminence one for instance. In addition to sodium ascorbyl phosphate, which is a relatively stable form of vitamin C, it contains vitamin E, which is loved by dermatologists for its soothing and hydrating properties. Just a warning: Ferulic acid did make its way into this formula, so while your product will last longer and maintain its color, it might have a slight scent.
The Best Vitamin C Eye Cream
In the same way that vitamin C can help brighten your overall complexion and fade dark spots, it can work wonders for stubborn dark under eye circles. Aside from caffeine, which is also in this formula, vitamin C is one of the best ingredients to seek out. This Peter Thomas Roth product (which is available at a major discount), is formulated with 10 percent vitamin C, vitamin E, and hyaluronic acid. Over time, be prepared to see some crazy depuffing and brightening effects.
The Best Vitamin C Cleanser
A leave-on vitamin C serum or moisturizer is obviously going to have a more intense effect—it’s sitting on your skin all day long. A cleanser infused with vitamin C however is a great way to get a little extra boost. Take this Jan Marini option. It evens out skin tone and texture, while leaving your face feeling fresh, clean, and hydrated. A little pro tip? The more water you use with the formula, the better lather you’ll get.
The Best Vitamin C Serum for Melasma
If you tend to deal with hard to manage hyperpigmentation or melasma, this serum deserves a spot in your regimen. It features 15 percent vitamin C, as well plant-based brightening ingredients like arbutin and mushroom extracts, to give an extra glowy boost. Peptides also have a strong hold here, adding an infusion of hydration. A little does go a long way with this one though, so only use around three drops to start.
Marie Claire Newsletter
Celebrity news, beauty, fashion advice, and fascinating features, delivered straight to your inbox!
Samantha Holender is the Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she reports on the best new launches, dives into the science behind skincare, and keeps up with the latest trends in the beauty space. She has previously written for Us Weekly, Popsugar, Makeup.com, Skincare.com, and Philadelphia Wedding. Follow her on Instagram @samholender.
The Unexpected Character in Season Six of ‘The Crown’? Princess Diana’s Swimsuits
"The swimsuit is the new ball gown.”
By Rachel Burchfield
Spain’s Queen Letizia Masters the Wintery White Pantsuit for Royal Engagement Celebrating Her Former Career
Before she was a member of the Spanish royal family, Letizia was an accomplished journalist.
By Rachel Burchfield
Priyanka Chopra Jonas Made Us Do a Double Take in A Pink and Black Bodycon Dress
Chopra Jonas—along with a slew of other celebrities—were on hand for the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi.
By Rachel Burchfield